NetSuite Workflow Action Script: What it is and when do we need it

SuiteFlow, or commonly known as workflow, is one of the powerful features of NetSuite.

With NetSuite workflows, you can do a bunch of field validations, controls and automation without writing a single line of code.

However, even with its valuable benefits, it still does have its own limitations.

The most known limitation is the ability to create transactions such as Sales Order, Purchase Order, Bills, Invoices, etc. This is because transactions have a sublist, in which workflow does not heavily support as of this time.

This is where Workflow Action Script comes in. It provides more flexibility as to what your current workflow can do.

What is a Workflow Action script?

Workflow Action Script is a type of SuiteScript that lets you add more actions beyond what the point and click SuiteFlows can do. With workflow action scripts, you can use the currently available SuiteScript APIs to perform specific actions such as manipulating sublists and creating records.

When do we need to create Workflow Action Scripts?

In my eight years of NetSuite development experience, there are only two scenarios I encountered where I had to create workflow action scripts:

  1. The workflow created is an approval workflow and the functionality that we needed was  a part of the approval process.
  2. The workflow had been functioning well for years and there was just a need to add a button that does a logic which was not supported by a workflow.

Why bother creating workflow action scripts when you could have just scripted it all the way?  

If you’re new to NetSuite Development, you would wonder about the use of workflow action scripts when it’s much easier to write a script as a starting point.

As a NetSuite Developer, you might also wonder if you still need to learn workflows while almost all the actions that a workflow can do is supported by SuiteScript. You might even have tried developing workflows before but since you’re a code-lover, you didn’t pursue learning it further. If that’s the case, it is totally understable. You would rather stick to your preference than trying to learn something that you do not seem to find appealing.

However, for a solution requirement like designing an entire approval process, it would be best if you first achieve it via workflows as it would be a huge time-saver. If ever there is a requirement that workflow does not seem to support, that is the only time you write the script.   

Workflow action scripts may not be as popular as it may seem since it’s only needed on special occasions. Nevertheless, when the time comes that you encounter a use case where this script type perfect fits, learning Workflow Action scripts can be a lifesaver.

LEACC Consulting is a team of NetSuite Certified Developers with IT experience solely dedicated to NetSuite technologies for eight years. We are experts in both SuiteScript 2.0 and SuiteScript 1.0. Our team has worked with 400+ NetSuite scripts and workflows combined. If you need some consulting help of how you can design your NetSuite scripts better, contact us by filling out this form or by commenting below.

Do you have NetSuite Development needs? Do you need help with a solution like this? Click on the link below and let’s have a chat about your project requirements!

Contact us for your NetSuite needs!

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